Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Worthless Physicians: Job 13:3-12

Job chides his "comforters" saying they are "worthless physicians" (Job 13:4). As physicians, they are worthless because, though they come up with many remedies to Job's problems, none of them heal his hurts. They are like people who always are ready to give their advice, yet their advice never seems to help. Sometimes we are so sure we have all the right answers, when often we haven't a clue what we are talking about. Job makes some specific observations about the "help" he was receiving from his friends.

"Will you speak what is unjust for God, and speak what is deceitful for Him?" (Job 13:7) We need to be careful to give our opinions as opinions and God's word as God's word. Job's friends were counseling him according to their wisdom but crediting it to God. It is dangerous to confuse our wisdom and opinions with God's word. If we speak for God, we should speak His words not our own.

"Will you show partiality for Him?" (Job 13:8) God does not make distinctions between people, and neither should we. Job's friends were making value judgments of Job, judgments that God was not making. God loves all people and is no respecter of persons. We should be careful not to judge the hearts of other people, for only God knows the heart of a man or woman.

"Will you contend for God?" (Job 13:8) God is a big God. He doesn't need us to defend Him. And if we think we can defend Him, then we are thinking more highly of ourselves than we aught. Besides, Jesus did not come so that He could defend God to us, but rather that He might pay the price to defend us before God. We should be the advocates of others before God, not try to contend with other people for God's sake.

"Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, your defenses are defenses of clay." (Job 13:12) The best wisdom we have to offer is just proverbs of ashes. Our own wisdom and opinions count for very little when someone is hurting. They need the wisdom, love, and encouragement that comes from God. Our words might impress some people, but it would be far better if they would actually help someone. By dispensing God's word, we will.

David Robison


  1. No disrespect intended, where as i do agree that we must be carefull when we do profess to speak for God. It is not entirelly prohibited. Paul himself speaks ex- Cathedra and yet he still is speaking for God. He does however admit to his readers that what he is saying is not the "words of God" but contends that his words have the same weight as if God himself did say them and that they are still trust worthy. Pastors, preachers, priest, all speak each week stating thus says the Lord insisting the they speak for the Lord. Yet not all of the things spoken are of the Lord. A good preacher, teacher always has the responsibility that his words always must agree with scripture. They are to be held to a higher standard for the sole reason that they are contending to speak for the Lord.

  2. Here is my personal application to whatthis is about. In the throws of Margaret's battle and death I had many words that I thought and spoke,advice etc. thinking I was "speaking"what God was saying. Not all my opinions were kind now that I look back,the one's I spoke to close confidant's,about the why's and how's and why things did not change etc. I had my own opinion and spoke it as if it were the Word of God. I thought I knew the mind of God in this matter and if I could somehow make her see and hear,well things would just turn around. As I spoke this out I think God understood I was trying to work this out but I have come to see that she was trying to do the same thing and I was not allowing room for that.So I say all that to say that a place of commentary in Job reads:"God is more tolerant of Job's faith searching for answers than He is of the friends WHO ASSUMED THEY KNEW ALL THE ANSWERS..." I don't want to be found in the place of assumption again.